Red Australian Shepherd : Detailed Characteristics

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 Tremendous worker, and tireless playmate, he was able to seduce by his character, his intelligence, and his sweetness. A medium-sized dog, ideal for families with children, the red Australian Shepherd is a doggie who needs to exert himself to be well in his head.

A Little History Of Red Australian Shepherd

Contrary to what its name suggests, the Australian Shepherd is not native to Australia. He would instead have been born in the Basque Country, in Spain. They would have left for the United States when shepherds emigrated there. These efficient and courageous dogs were thus used in the Rocky Mountains before breeders in Colorado looked into the breed to attract wealthy shepherds from California.

Red Australian Shepherd


Why is this dog called Australian Shepherd and not American Shepherd? Nothing is less certain, but a theory seems to have won the favor of certain specialists. The Australian Shepherd was used to guard flocks of sheep imported from Australia. For others, the origin of the name is in the merle color: with the arrival of many merle dogs from Australia, the color as a whole became associated with this country.  

Detailed Physical Characteristics

The  Red Australian Shepherd is a medium to large size dog. The male is generally slightly larger than the female: between 51 and 58 cm at the withers for males and between 46 and 53 cm at the withers for females. Its weight also varies according to the sex of the animal: 25 to 34 kg for males, and 19 to 26 kg for females. Dog with good-natured and friendly looks, his physique gives confidence and arouses admiration.

He belongs to group 1 of the FCI: sheepdogs and cattle dogs (except Swiss cattle dogs). He is found in section 1 of this group as a sheepdog.


The Australian Shepherd displays a muscular body but is never heavy. His silhouette betrays all his agility. His body is slightly longer than tall, with arched ribs and a sloping croup. Another important physical characteristic of the Australian Shepherd: the tail should not exceed ten centimeters. It is sometimes very short, even cut short. He is well supplied with hair.


The head of the Australian Shepherd has a skull as wide as it is long and is very well proportioned with the rest of the body. This skull is flat or slightly domed. The stop is not too marked. The nose is black in black or blue merle Australian Shepherds. It is brown in red or red merle Australian Shepherds.


The ears are drooping and set very high. They are triangular. The eyes are almond-shaped. Their color is variable (amber, brown, blue). The Australian Shepherd sometimes has walleyes (two different colored eyes) or particolors (several colors within one eye).


The Australian Shepherd can have walleyes (eyes of different colors) or particular eyes (several colors in the same eye). The colors most often found are blue, brown, or amber. The eyes are almond-shaped.


The Australian Shepherd's tail is at most 10 cm long.


The coat of the Australian Shepherd is medium length, straight, or slightly wavy. It is a little shorter at the head and ears. The Australian Shepherd also has an undercoat whose consistency varies with the seasons. This dog molts twice a year, in the spring and the fall. His maintenance must be conscientious. Brushing it well to get rid of dead hair: one to two brushings per week during regular periods, and brushing every day during molting. The coat of the Australian Shepherd is very weather-resistant as long as the conditions are not extreme.


There are four distinct coat colors:
  • Black: the black dress can be tricolor (black, tan, white), bicolor (black white, or black, tan), or unicolor (black, called zain).
  • Red: the red dress also has variations: tricolor (red, fire, white), two-tone (red, white, or red, fire), and unicolor (red, called brown).
  • Blue merle: same thing for blue merle: tricolor (blue merle, fire, white), two-tone (blue merle, white, or blue merle, fire), or unicolor (blue merle). Note that blue merle Australian Shepherds can be affected by blindness and deafness if both parents are merles. We then speak of the Australian Shepherd double merle. Serious breeders do their best to avoid this type of crossbreeding which can seriously affect the dog's health. The blue merle, however, remains one of the most recognizable physical characteristics of the Australian Shepherd.
  • Red merle: the same for red merle: tricolor (red merle, fire, white), two-tone (red merle, white, or red merle, fire), or unicolor (red merle).

Single and two-tone coats are much rarer than the others, which make up 99% of Australian Shepherd coats. No colors other than those listed above are accepted: any variation, such as beige, for example, will be considered a fault.

Similarly, even if present, white should never be in the majority: this is a fault for the standard of the Société Centrale Canine. But on the other hand, it can be found at the level of the chest, the limbs, and the mouth. The eyes, on the other hand, can be surrounded by color but never by white. 

Red Australian Shepherd

Growth Of The Red Australian Shepherd

Red Australian Shepherd puppies weigh between 300 and 400 grams at birth. Babies grow and then gain weight very quickly. At three months, the Australian Shepherd has already almost doubled in size.

The Australian Shepherd's adult size and weight vary according to the sex of the animal: males are generally larger than females. But, of course, the individual physical characteristics of an Australian Shepherd are also to be taken into account, and a male can be smaller than a female.

The height of the adult male Australian Shepherd is between 51 and 58 cm at the withers. For females, the size is between 46 and 53 cm. The weight, meanwhile, oscillates between 25 to 34 kg for males and 19 to 26 kg for females.

Australian Shepherd growth can be broken down into two distinct phrases. The puppy grows very quickly until the 7th month, then the growth slows down until the adult size, between the age of 12 months and 15 months.

Please note: growth in puppies is always a delicate period. Take care of your little Australian Shepherd, and don't ask too much of him. Avoid too intense games, jumps, or skids. Australian Shepherds are very energetic: it's up to you to know how to put limits on them to avoid the appearance of joint problems and, in particular, hip dysplasia.

Red Australian Shepherd


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The Qualities Of The Australian Shepherd

Positive Traits
  • Clever: His intelligence, first of all, makes him a particularly easy dog ​​to train. He has excellent learning ability and great adaptability. This is also the main mark of the character of the Australian Shepherd. You will have no trouble taking him with you in many canine activities, such as agility, for example.
  • Affectionate: The Australian Shepherd is loving and has a great attachment to his master, to whom he is particularly close. He shows unfailing loyalty and good obedience to her, even if he also has a strong character. More reserved with strangers, he is, on the other hand, expansive and facetious with his relatives and his family.
  • Soft: Candy. This is the word that defines the character of the Australian Shepherd, also well known for his kindness. Never aggressive, sociable with those he loves, and calm when necessary, he also shows great patience and is a wonderful playmate for children with whom he gets along wonderfully. Be careful, though: never leave the little ones unattended with an Australian Shepherd, no matter how sweet.
  • Don't run away: He's not a runaway dog. As a good sheepdog, he would much rather stay with his family to watch over them and make sure they don't scatter. An exception: if the dog does not exert himself enough, he will want to stretch his legs on his own.
  • Ideal for a first adoption: All the qualities of the Australian Shepherd's character make him a perfect dog for a first adoption. His intelligence, gentleness, and loyalty make his education accessible, even if he can sometimes have little character. The ideal master for the Australian Shepherd is a sporty and available person who appreciates a dog that is sometimes a stickler and is not afraid to exert himself for several hours with him. If you work a lot and are not at home a lot, adopting an Australian Shepherd may not be a good idea.
Negative Traits
  • Ain't meant to be alone: He does not support loneliness very well, and his great attachment to his master can also prove to be a source of the problem. The Australian Shepherd is likely to develop separation anxiety, which manifests itself daily by destruction, barking, or even depression.
  • Sometimes stubborn: Beneath his good-natured and sympathetic airs also hides a character of his own. As a good herding dog, the Australian Shepherd is more the type to steer the boat. He can even be dominant with his congeners, hence the importance of providing him with a quality education.
  • Greedy: The Australian Shepherd can be greedy on occasion. If this can be an advantage during education sessions, care should be taken not to encourage him too much. The Australian Shepherd is not generally a dog prone to obesity, but overusing the treats can also have serious health consequences..
  • Can be destructive: The red Australian Shepherd isn't known for being destructive, but if he's bored or feeling neglected, he can take out his frustration on your furniture, cushions, or anything else that gets in his way. It is, therefore, necessary to be very careful that the needs of the Australian Shepherd are met. He could very quickly become unhappy if he does not have all the stimulation, both physical and intellectual, that he needs.

Red Australian Shepherd


Behavior With Others

The Australian Shepherd is not a hunt, therefore, lacks a hunting instinct that would push him to consider other animals in the family as prey. He has no particular problem with cats, provided he has been used to them from an early age. Encounters with other animals should be positive to prevent them from leaving lasting trauma on your dog. Be careful, however, in the case of NACs: given the difference in size between a small animal and your dog, an accident could very quickly have dramatic consequences.

With other dogs, the character of the Australian Shepherd makes him a dog without any particular problem. He gets along well with them, even if the males can sometimes be a little dominant. The Australian Shepherd loves to play and will always be happy to find new companions to play with. Make sure he is socialized early. For example, you can take him to puppy school so that he is in contact with many dogs of different sizes and different characters.

Final Thoughts

The red  Australian Shepherd is a dog that can suit many people. His character makes him easy to live with, provided, of course, that you listen to his needs! As a sporty doggie, even sometimes hyperactive, he can't stand to stay around in circles at home. He needs dynamic masters ready to devote a lot of time to him. 

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